Latest Fantana proves you can never have too many Fantanas

Posted on Fri Sep 11 2009

Shakira has joined the Fantanas! Too bad it's Shakira Barrera from Englewood, N.J. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola has named its fourth sexy soda spokesperson for its Fanta brand. A little history: The Fantanas were born in 2002, when Coke decided to relaunch the Fanta brand in the U.S. as a replacement for Orange Slice and a competitor to Sunkist. To show off its variety of flavors, it cast four models in its ads to lip-sync its jingle "Don't You Want To?" They would go on to pose in Maxim and be spoofed by Mad TV. However, as happened with other supergroups like Menudo, new members have been rotated in over the years. This time, the brand announced an open casting call online in April. Barrera was selected from 10 semifinalists, who sent in one-minute videos showing off their "personalities," by a panel of judges, including Chilli from TLC. Barrera's prize includes the opportunity to appear in Fanta's 2009-10 ad campaign as well as $5,000. Considering Fanta has quietly become one of the few carbonated soft-drink success stories of the past decade, the Fantanas have proven yet again that sex sells.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

NBC's '30 Rock' gives its latest batch of free love to the Slanket

Posted on Wed Apr 29 2009

The NBC show 30 Rock has a well-earned reputation for trying to pass off product placements in a tongue-and-cheek manner, even though some of the placements, like the infamous McDonald's McFlurrygate incident earlier this year, apparently weren't pay-for-play deals. The latest product to get ironic placement is the Slanket, the forerunner to the Snuggie. In last week's episode, Tina Fey's character, Liz Lemon, was seen sporting the Slanket several times, including once in her office (at 7:44 in the video above), where she says defensively, "It's not product placement. I just like it." (That's apparently true. According to Gizmodo, Fey bought Slankets for everyone on the 30 Rock staff.) The coup de grace, however, is at the end of the episode, where Salma Hayek's character lays into Fey/Lemon with the following oughtta-be classic line: "Lemon, isn't there a Slanket somewhere that you should be filling with your farts." Yet another use for the self-proclaimed "best blanket ever."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

'30 Rock' loves brands so much, it no longer wants their money

Posted on Wed Feb 18 2009

Love will keep them together. Or will a McFlurry do the trick?
  A couple of characters on NBC's 30 Rock, played by Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek, did some brand-name bonding over the icy McDonald's treat during the Valenntine's Day episode, giving the marketer a good deal of adoring on-screen time during the popular Thursday-night series. The pair shared a mutual devotion to the McFlurry, hit the skids, then reunited at the counter of the fast-food joint. McFlurrys all around!
  Tina Fey actually says McDonald's didn't pay for the placement. But the Emmy-winning show generally revels in its over-the-top approach to brand integration. Fey has spouted a mini-infomercial for Verizon in the past, turning directly to the camera to ask "Can we have our money now?" after the pitch. Jerry Seinfeld similarly broke the fourth wall by shilling for Bee Movie during a guest appearance, giving its release date and a timely hit-the-multiplex message. DreamWorks Animation sponsored that episode. Soy Joy and Snapple have had their taglines used in the script, and Apple's iPhone is a nearly omnipresent character. When is it too much?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley



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